Information solutions provider and leading credit reference agency, TransUnion, is helping UK students gain workplace skills and encouraging girls to consider careers in data science and technology through its second annual #GirlsIntoTech initiative.
Working in partnership with Bradford Girls’ Grammar School, TransUnion has helped 120 girls this year to gain an understanding of the technology sector, develop workplace skills and learn about pathways to employment.
In addition, 14 students competed for placements on an intensive week-long work shadowing scheme at the company’s UK headquarters in Leeds, to experience first-hand what it means to work in a global technology business.
With a mentor assigned to each student, the girls worked across nearly all departments, including analytics, client services, business intelligence, facilities, legal, the technology service desk and product development.
“Getting girls interested in technology is key to addressing the gender imbalance in the sector,” explains Rebecca Aberdein, HR director for TransUnion in the UK. “We launched #GirlsIntoTech last year and saw impressive results. We will continue to build on this and help raise greater awareness of the careers and opportunities within technology, in tandem with our broader work inspiration programme to help equip students with skills for the workplace, whatever career path they may choose.”
In 2017/18 only 15 per cent of computer science graduates in the UK were female,* with the lack of female candidates available to recruit leading to a continued imbalance in the field.
Aberdein continues: “During their week with TransUnion, the girls participated in development workshops, gained insight into the business and conducted a group project. It was wonderful to watch them grow in confidence, even in that short time, as they developed a greater understanding of what being a ‘tech’ business is all about.”
Feedback from the girls attested to the success of the scheme. Iqra, aged 15, from Huddersfield said she had been surprised by how interesting the jobs were and is now more open to a career in tech as a result., whilst Zahra, also 15, from Bradford, said: “It was a very interesting week, filled with workshops and learning. I may now choose a technological career path.”
* WISE Classroom Statistics 2018